Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (
-   Ethnographic Weapons (
-   -   inscribed choora for discussion (

chiefheadknocker 9th April 2017 06:05 PM

inscribed choora for discussion
4 Attachment(s)
hi , I have recently acquired this what I think is an afghan choora , this dagger I presume is a afghan choora I would just like to know if anyone can make out the description on the top of the handle also age etc ,I really don't know much about them ,thanks

Ian 9th April 2017 11:36 PM

Looks like 1944 inscribed on the back strap. Some of our members may be able to translate the rest.

motan 10th April 2017 05:39 AM

Hi, nice choora! Not very old though. I think that they are still made today, so 1944 is not that young either. As for the Arabic scipt, I read "wa'sai" but I am new to reading Arabic and I am not sure. Anyway, don't know what it means, so you better wait for further information..

G. Mansfield 12th April 2017 04:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I agree with Ian with the date of 1944 inscribed above. Although not one of the early one's, it has some quality to it. The newest one Iv'e seen was inscribed with a date from the 1980's which was a gift to someone special (I can't remember the exact details). I had one very similar to that one (See Photo), which was of poor quality and hilt of plastic. This one looks bone and has much better quality than the newer ones. I was also bidding on this. Good catch!


ariel 13th April 2017 03:42 AM

Dating of Chooras is notoriously difficult: 99.999% of them are not dated or inscribed. Only materials ( plastic handles) or stupid etchings of the blade + general condition can give general clues. I have two Chooras whose wooden scabbards with paper labels were dated by a world class paper/ wood restorer to mid-19th century. Circumstantial, but still evidence.

There was a sweeping theory of some person that any Afghani weapon with even trace of brass is no earlier than 20th century ( this is despite Moser and Egerton's collections). Balderdash, of course, but it was published in the proceedings of a conference in Russia:-)
I guess that Afghani Khyber denizens did not care much about future academic disputations, but just adapted a Pesh Kabz to their own tastes and kept it unchanged for hundreds of years. It could stab good! And that all that mattered to them.

Lee 13th April 2017 12:31 PM

Yet another translation request...
3 Attachment(s)
Here is another example that belonged to Lew Waldman and has since been sold by his Estate. I doubt enough of the paper label remains to decipher most of what it says, but I've been curious if there is anything there of interest.

Archive listing

ariel 13th April 2017 10:45 PM

inscribed choora
It looks exactly like mine, nails and all!
Post #65

I may ask my Pakistani fellow to translate what is possible.
OK with you?

Lee 14th April 2017 01:43 PM

Amazingly, I somehow missed that old thread at the time.

Ariel, the similarity of the labels is striking and any interpretation that your Pakistani acquaintance might provide (hopefully considering all four) would be appreciated. Did you ever receive and report a translation for Tatyana Dianova's example with the better preserved label (posts #106, 107)? I cannot help but suspect that these four knives share some common past history. Hopefully this past is not a police evidence vault for misused knives.

Granted that inks in Asia may not have been the same as those in use at the same time in the US and Europe, the oxidation of the ink does point to the 19th century. Does the brittleness of the paper suggest the inherent vice of acidity when wood pulp paper began to replace rag paper, and again dates of transition will surely vary regionally. I expect Dr. Baker has considered these factors and will be as correct as is possible.

I personally believe that some of the ethnographic arms that we encounter are indeed significantly older than is generally accepted, especially when there is a lack of surviving local written documentation and we are relying on published documentation and specimens collected by colonizers and early tourists. Our dating gets tied to publication and collecting dates and not dates of making and use. For example, the really nice old spearheads from the Sulu Archipelago. When I freed one nice pattern-welded blade from the pitch holding it into a wad of failed epoxy repair and a broken wood socket pictured in this old thread, the tang had the dark brown patina of an old koto Japanese sword and there was not any fresh rust on the wood or pitch, suggesting the tang was pretty much as it had been when it went into those mounts.

ariel 14th April 2017 08:18 PM

I sent him pics of both. Let's see what transpires.

Oh yes, she took it into account. She looked at the paper, the ink, the wood. The insect wood damage tightly corresponds to the paper outlines. The little six-leggers just ate their way from the top:-)
Overall, she was certain to the best of her abilities ( and this is her job!) that
the labels were written and glued well before 20 century. The very beginning of the second half of the 19 century was the earliest. And that just by the conditions of the samples she examined from A to Z.

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:27 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.